Reynoldsburg Roundup: Boys soccer team pleased with season of growth
The Reynoldsburg boys soccer team didn’t take it for granted when it beat 28th-seeded Mount Vernon 1-0 on Oct. 20 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
The 23rd-seeded Raiders had their season end with a 2-0 loss Oct. 22 at fifth-seeded Olentangy Berlin in the second round, but not before it got things on the right footing heading into the offseason.
They returned only a handful of key players from last season when they were led by a 10-member senior class.
“The guys (started) to peak at the right time, and (the postseason) is definitely when you want to peak,” coach Tony Labudovski said. “We have guys that haven’t had that much varsity experience that have been stepping up.”
The Raiders went 8-7-3 overall and finished runner-up in the OCC-Buckeye Division at 3-1-1 behind Pickerington Central (5-0).
Junior midfielder Nassir Disuki, who scored against Mount Vernon, likes what he saw late in the season.
“Just the overall intensity of the game (against Mount Vernon), we were in it for the whole time and were on their half (of the field) the whole game,” Disuki said. “We have a lot of good freshmen for the future, and I’ve got one more year.
"We’ve got a bright future. Next year is going to be a good team. We just came together as a family. This team wasn’t really used to each other at the beginning of the year but now we play 10 times better and with more intensity.”
Among the graduation losses will be Brady Frydl (goalie), Veron Fonegh (forward), Crofton McDevitt (wing) and Noah Paas (midfielder).
“(The senior class has) all had this bond since freshman year, so it just feels like a family now even with the younger players,” Paas said. “At the beginning of the year, we were struggling and playing a little too individually. We were in pods at the beginning of the year and once we got out of those, we started bonding and it went up from there.”
Other key juniors were Abubacarr Badje (midfielder), Nate Bakenhaster (midfielder/defender), Ibby Fall (forward) and Abdi Nurr (forward).
Landon Miars, who saw action at multiple positions, is a freshman who figures to be a mainstay, according to Labudovski.
“Landon Miars has been really stepping up and doing very well,” Labudovski said. “We have guys that haven’t had that much varsity experience that have been stepping up.”
Others eligible to return include sophomores Carson McCroskey (defender), Brennan Fox (midfielder/defender) and Nic Phanthavong (midfielder) and freshman Anthony Alioto (midfielder/defender).
Most of girls soccer
team to return
The girls soccer team is losing only three players to graduation after going 6-8-2 overall and tying Lancaster for third at 2-2-1 in the OCC-Buckeye behind Pickerington Central (5-1) and Newark (4-1).
Senior Ryanne Buck (forward) finished with 18 goals and eight assists and senior Cassidy Collins (forward/midfielder) had 11 goals and 11 assists after also being the team leaders in scoring last season.
“Cassidy Collins and Ryanne Buck were great players and great leaders who were captains and we also (graduate) Natalia Cooper, who played defender and was one of those inspirational players who worked super hard and didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes,” coach Chris Merrick said. “So we’ll miss them, but we have 10 or 11 juniors that were on varsity this year that will all come back. Most of them were starters.”
Reynoldsburg was seeded 28th for the Division I district tournament and lost 2-0 on Oct. 21 at 11th-seeded Westerville North in the first round.
Juniors Leah Delancey (midfielder), Olivia Dulay (defender), Sydney Frydl (center back), Baylie Phillips (center midfielder) and Abby Starkey (goalie) should be among the top returnees.
“Baylie Phillips is a center midfielder who’s another good player in that caliber of Cassidy and Ry, one of those players who works hard all the time and leads by example with her hard work,” Merrick said. “Olivia Dulay is a center defender and outside defender and one of those players with good skills. She’s a good defender and plays hard. Sydney Frydl was our big center back and really came on late in the season and has been doing a good job, so I look for her to be a good leader. Leah Delancey was a little bit hurt this season but is another quality good soccer player with good skills and a strong soccer IQ. It was a shame we lost our last tournament game because she was really emotional about it and didn’t want it to end.”
Trio of runners
advance to regional
The cross country program was represented at the Division I regional Oct. 31 at Pickerington North by two boys and one girl.
The boys team finished 10th (270) in the 19-team district 3 meet Oct. 24 at Hilliard Darby behind champion Lancaster (91) and the girls were ninth (213) in the 13-team district 3 race behind champion Upper Arlington (70) as the top six teams in both races advanced to state.
The top 24 individuals in both races also moved on to regional, with seniors Seth Davis finishing sixth (16 minutes, 13.2 seconds) and Mars Davis placing 12th (16:31.4) to advance for the boys team and senior Avril Moyer finishing fourth (19:14.7) in the girls race.
The state meet is Saturday, Nov. 7, at Fortress Obetz.
Also at the district meet, senior Dominic Sabo placed 40th (17:12.5), followed by freshman Jackson Powell (101st, 18:26.1), junior Andy Potter (111th, 18:37.1), freshman Alex Begeny (124th, 19:17.8) and senior Mekhi Dejarnette (125th, 19:41) for the boys.
Freshman Emma Hinds was the girls team’s No. 2 runner, finishing 40th (21:04.6), followed by juniors Paige Castello (52nd, 21:33.3) and Abby Robinson (56th, 21:41.8) and seniors Kristin Sheets (61st, 21:59.7), Alyse Powell (63rd, 22:09.1) and Macy Thompson (83rd, 24:15.8).
•Record: 8-7-3 overall
•OCC-Buckeye standings: Pickerington Central (5-0), Reynoldsburg (3-1-1), Newark (2-3), Groveport (2-2-1), Central Crossing (1-4), Lancaster (1-4)
•Seniors lost: Amir Abuka, Veron Fonegh, Brady Frydl, John Hayes, Crofton McDevitt, Noah Paas, Brian Priest, Monty Rollins, Som Subedi and Devin Vongsavath
•Key returnees: Abubacarr Badje, Nassir Disuki, Ibby Fall, Landon Miars and Abdi Nurr
•Postseason: Defeated Mount Vernon 1-0; lost to Olentangy Berlin 2-0 in second round
•Record: 6-8-2 overall
•OCC-Buckeye standings: Pickerington Central (5-0), Newark (4-1), Reynoldsburg (2-2-1), Lancaster (2-2-1), Central Crossing (1-4), Groveport (0-5)
•Seniors lost: Ryanne Buck, Cassidy Collins and Natalia Cooper
•Key returnees: Leah Delancey, Olivia Dulay, Sydney Frydl, Baylie Phillips and Abby Starkey
•Postseason: Lost Westerville North 2-0 in first round of district tournament